Citing work by her quant colleagues, analyst Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley has predicted a weak September quarter for Apple ahead of the 2018 iPhone refresh (via Barrons). Huberty dug into the work of her quantitative analysts to find that Apple’s current quarter is going to be “slightly weaker-than-consensus”.
“We currently see no delay in the ramp of Apple’s upcoming flagship 5.8″ or 6.5″ OLED iPhones. However suspected issues with LED backlight leakage have caused a 1-month delay in mass production of the 6.1″ LCD iPhone, although this is down from a 6-week delay baked into the original production forecast, according to suppliers.”
Huberty explained that she has been working with the Morgan Stanley quant team for the last 6 months to consolidate data on a large number of Taiwanese Apple suppliers, and systematically explore the correlations or statistical inferences “that can help shape our views on Apple’s revenue guidance”.
“Ahead of March quarter earnings, this quant work successfully predicted an in-line guide, which was more bullish than our below-consensus fundamental expectations”, added Huberty. “This quarter, sales growth for these companies decelerated vs. March quarter results, therefore we see modest downside risk to September guidance vs. consensus”.
Interestingly though, Huberty, who currently has an Overweight rating on the stock, has raised her price target for AAPL to $232 from $214.